BOSTON -- Even before the Red Sox were nearly no-hit and were shutout in their own ballpark in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, it was likely that manager John Farrell was leaning toward making some changes to the Red Sox lineup for Game 2 Sunday night.
But the team's feeble offensive showing in Game 1 virtually guarantees it.
Indications are that Farrell will go with Jonny Gomes in left field over Daniel Nava, who had the only Red Sox hit Saturday night -- a one-out ninth-inning line single to center and replace struggling Mike Napoli at first base with Mike Carp.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who sat in favor of David Ross in Game 1 because the Sox liked the way Ross had worked with Lester in a start against the Tigers in early September.
Napoli is struggling in the post-season, with just two hits in 16 at-bats. He fanned three times in Game 1 and has struck out seven times in five post-season games.
It doesn't help that Napoli has had a tough time with Max Scherzer, Detroit's Game 2 starter, going 1-for-9 with three strikeouts in his career.
Gomes, of course, would ordinarily get playing time against lefthanded starters, but all four of Detroit's ALCS starters are righthanded, so Farrell has to find opportunities and matchups that favor Gomes.
Sunday could be one of those. In an admittedly small sample size, Gomes is 2-for-6 against the likely Cy Young Award winner, while Nava is just 1-for-9 with two strikeouts.